The One With the Toxic Friendship

Every now and then it’s important for us to evaluate whom we are spending our time with and whether or not we actually want to be spending time with them. Or, perhaps not whether or not we want to be spending time with them but whether we should be. Allow me to explain.

Each of us has a network of people who we choose to give our time and energy to. In return, these people give us their own time and energy as well as important things like happiness, confidence, and support. But there are some people with whom the secondary benefits do not occur, or whom fill our lives with so much negativity and stress that the relationship becomes unhealthy for everyone involved.

I was once friends with someone who we will call Kim. At first our friendship seemed great! I had finally found someone to do everything with, and someone who seemed genuinely concerned about what was going on in my life. The problem was that as time went by I felt more like her assistant than her friend.

Kim didn’t just enjoy my company; she began expecting it. I couldn’t have lunch with someone else or go home early for the day without receiving a lecture about not spending enough time with her. I couldn’t say no to walking her to and from her dorm every time she wanted me to spend time with her, even when doing so was really inconvenient. And when I was with her, the conversations were never pleasant or upbeat, but always laden with negativity and anxiety.

One day after being yelled at for wanting to go home after my last class, (I was a commuter after all) I made my decision to cut ties with Kim. I would still be nice to her because we had been so close for so long and she did help me with my own struggles, but I would gradually remove myself from the friendship that had become toxic. Now, I am happier than ever with the new friends that I have, and from what I can tell she is too.

I’m not saying that if one of your friends is having a bad week or month you should ditch them cold turkey. Everyone goes through rough patches in their life when they require more attention and care than usual. This is normal, and you should be there to support them knowing that they will do the same in return. But if there is one person in your life who is consistently draining you of all of your energy, or expecting more from you than you can give? You may want to reconsider spending time with them or communicate with them to let them know how you are feeling. If you can fix the relationship then wonderful; it will be stronger than ever before! But if not, don’t be so hard on yourself. People come into our lives for a reason and need to be released from them if they have overstayed their welcome.

Check out this fun video from Buzzfeed about the 3 Friends You Should Get Rid of!

For something a lot more lighthearted, check out this Buzzfeed video!

Header image courtesy of Viktor Hanacek

Disclaimer: I am not a blogging professional, or a magical guru that can solve all of your problems. I cannot be held liable for triumphs, failures, or anything else that occurred to you as a result of reading the content on my blog.

 

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